The use of Reason and reasonable argumentation, the reclaiming of the idea of Progress and the struggle against dogma. In this post-modern world, reinventing Enlightenment is of the utmost importance.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Anonymity in the blogsphere: possibilities

Most bloguers are somewhat anonymous persons. Even when they give a full profile of themselves (or at least that will be your first impression) most of them are still anonymous, in the sense that their audience is minimum. This assumption seems at first clear as crystal and not open for debate. It is not that simple, though.

The blogsphere, for all its anarchic resonance, is an organized world, where individuals gather around similar interests, likes, dislikes, or have other bonds, such as real life family ties and friendships. Individuals will blog were they think it is good for them to blog. If I am into fast cars I will not join the crochet bloguing community. In a way, the claim that anonymity is the rule in the Blogsphere is refuted by this simple fact: people will blog with people they like, with people with whom they have affinities. They will create bonds with other bloguers (links) and their anonymity will be the lesser the greater are the bonds they create with others.

Nevertheless, anonymity does have its advantages, the main one consisting in the possibility of creating several personas for oneself. By acting in such way you can approach groups you are interested to interact with as if you were an equal, that not being the actual case.

You can lie and get away with it. All you need are some more or less refined linguistic and technical skills, to help sell your fake creation. It also means that you can interact with different people without hurting susceptibilities; groups with whom you share some interests might have different values from others you also share interests with. If you like fast cars and crochet at the same time, having two personas will prove useful. For your fast car persona you probably want a macho type bloguer. For your crochet persona the exact opposite.

Cultivated anonymity helps you interact within one or more given communities in different and interesting ways. Also, if you are conducting research on bloguers behavioral patterns, it will be interesting to see how they react to your different personas. You can even have several personas to interact within the same community.

Nevertheless, before you decide going on yet another anonymous tour, you must remember this is not an easy affair. Anonymity of this kind demands a very skillful use of language. If in real life there is something called fingerprints, in the blogsphere there are linguistic fingerprints. And there is also a more technical side to the issue. Blogs today come with trackers, i.e., devices by which the owner of a blog can track down visitors to their own servers, check the actual time they spent at the blog, entry and exit page, page views and also the precise date, to the minute, of a given visit…


Blogger Goncaluskas said...

Seemingly employers are now looking at job candidates web presence as a way of evaluating them, so much that it can work as a way of descriminating candidates on a political, ideological or sexual orientation basis. (See revista Veja)

7:40 AM

Blogger Inha said...

Bom dia.

Daviduskas, admira-me que ainda não tenha visto. Já abriu na sexta.;)

10:04 AM

Blogger Ana A. said...

Um post muito interessante e pertinente.
Manda mais!

Olha, sinceramente, não sei em que categoria me insiro...falo de tanta coisa. Aliás, acho que até falo demais ;).

10:24 AM

Blogger sonia r. said...

Boa tarde, Daviduskas.

10:53 AM

Blogger sonia r. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:53 AM

Blogger sonia r. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:53 AM

Blogger A. Cabral said...

Do bloggers truly coalesce in such a neat way? Do we join in clearly rational shared interests? That may be roughly true, you will not see me having a polite conversation with Henrique Raposo at Acidental, but I have them often here... Still, I find that the seas of the blogger are rather turbulent to traverse and there is often too much fog for a safe navigation. One makes surprising acquaintances with odd connections of interests.

One more provocation, on the invented personas. What is more true, my blog invention or my passport identity or maybe my tax returns persona? If you can succeed in inventing an person x, then that someone else is really you, it is made part of you, it was at least in seed already there. Ambiguity is our postmodern condition.

1:49 PM

Blogger sonia r. said...

Não se faz nada?

12:32 PM

Blogger leugenaar said...

I think that blogging is fine and dandy and just like any 'cult-esque' creation can produce some fine cliques and controversy. My school continues to ban such behaviour and activity.. within decent reasons I suppose. Doesn't mean I have to comply... loop holes are fun when people get lazy too.

I enjoy creating personas and for a while, that was all I did. Simply created personas for myself to figure out which worked as I divulged my personal problems to faceless entities in the hopes of solving them.

I wonder if in all eventuality, if enough time is spent here or there...
do we merge our personas and inevitably become one amalgamation of all the influences around us? Do those alterior personas become our 'friends' and in turn change us? Or... are these personas who we really were all along:

but too scared to be in case of the consequences in 'real' life?

Maybe good ideas, but not in practice. And where's the use in that?

3:58 PM


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